MAITLAND, Florida. – Despite statements to the contrary by a Central Florida lawmaker, migrants reportedly staying at a Maitland hotel are legally in the country as farm workers.
Apopka’s Mayor Bryan Nelson confirmed to News 6’s Treasure Roberts that 90 to 100 people dropped off at the Extended Stay Hotel in Maitland this weekend all have H-2A, a temporary farm worker visa.
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The migrants have a contract to work for Dewar Nurseries in Apopka, a large wholesaler of plant nurseries.
The workers are on contract for up to 120 days, and most have previously been in the area as migrant workers.
Lawyers issued a statement on behalf of Dewar Nurseries:
“The Dewar Nurseries employees living at the Extended Stay Hotel in Maitland are here in the United States under the H2A Visa program. This is a long-standing, 100 percent legitimate program that allows our companies to hire the employees we need to deliver the best quality products to our customers. Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
Online furore turned into protests outside the hotel in Maitland as people claimed the migrants were brought into the country illegally. Protests were seen waving “Impeach Biden” flags and displaying “Let’s Go Brandon” signs, a slur against President Biden.
Among those who perpetuated the claim was State Representative Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills. On Sunday, he took to Twitter and demanded that Governor Ron DeSantis use state law enforcement to arrest and deport the workers.
BREAKING: Hundreds of Illegal Immigrants Just SENT to My Congressional District Yesterday – Deposed in Maitland
We MUST STOP AND DEPORT THEM IMMEDIATELY – State law enforcement must be activated by: @GovRonDeSantis ASAP
Florida is NOT allowed to ask the federal government for permission! https://t.co/VBaR2kSsv4
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) January 30, 2022
It should be noted that while Sabatini says the hotel is in his district, his hometown, Howey-in-the-Hills, is not in the same district as the hotel in Maitland, which is Congressional District 7.
However, Sabatini is competing to be representative for District 7.
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